Neighbors Help Salvage Valuables From Rubble After OKC Home Explosion

Thursday, September 24th 2020, 10:18 pm
By: Barry Mangold


Neighbors of a northeast Oklahoma City family helped salvage photos, books, and other items after their home suddenly exploded Thursday morning. 

Friends of the Maguire family met at the destroyed home hours after the blast. 

Jeff Robinson said the mother, Tanda, had one request while she recovered from her injuries. 

“The one thing that Tanda asked of us is to try to salvage as many memories as possible,” he said. 

Robinson, Christopher La Rue, and others formed an assembly line to save pieces of memorabilia, which Robinson said, “can’t be replaced.” 

“We all have families and it could have been either one of us,” La Rue said. 

The mother, father, and son were hospitalized with injuries after the explosion. The only daughter, Berklee, 14, died at the scene. 

Related: Girl Dead, 3 Injured After Home Explosion In NE OKC, Fire Officials Say

The Oklahoma State Liquified Petroleum Gas Administration, a state agency that handles the regulation of propane, is investigating the incident. 

A safety code enforcement officer with the agency said the cause could be linked to a fireplace log lighter, a type of gas pipe that is illegal in homes that use propane gas because it does not come with an automatic safety pilot shutoff. 

Read: State Propane Regulator Investigating Deadly Home Explosion In NE OKC

It’s possible gas leaked into the home because of the log lighter, according to the agency. A final determination will be made in the final report, which could take several weeks. 

An online fundraiser for the Maguire family has raised more than $60,000 since 12 p.m. Thursday. 

“We just believe in community,” Robinson said. “That’s why we’re here in Oklahoma. That’s what we do here in Oklahoma.”